CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - A state investigation has cleared Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn of wrongdoing in the case of baby Yovanny Lopez, who was brought to the hospital April 23 after being brutally cut from his mother Marlen Ochoa-Lopez’s womb.
The baby died June 14 from severe brain damage, according to family spokesperson Julie Contreras and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
In an email written June 12 to Christ Medical Center President Matthew Primack, the Department of Health and Human Services said that “as a result of the May 24, 2019 substantial allegation survey, [the hospital] was found in compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation and will continue to be deemed to meet applicable Medicare requirement.”
An Illinois Department of Public Health spokesperson could not provide additional information on the details of the investigation, citing the Hospital Licensing Act.
The IDPH launched the investigation in May after Clarisa Figueroa, her daughter Desiree and partner Piotr Bobak allegedly killed the mother and tried to pass the baby off as their own.
After strangling Ochoa-Lopez, Figueroa called 911 and was transported to Christ Medical Center, where she told medical staff that the baby was hers, authorities said. Despite showing “no signs consistent with a woman who had just delivered a baby,” a “mandated reporter” did not notify the Department of Child and Family Services about the newborn until May 9, DCFS spokesman Jassen Strokosch said.
“There is no doubt in our minds that on April 23, 2019 mistakes occurred at this hospital. There were red flags everywhere,” Contreras said. “Baby Yovanny Lopez is dead now & we need a law in place to help hospitals like Christ Advocate get things right when the next innocent baby walks into their ER in the arms of criminals like Clarissa Figueroa.”
On May 20, the Cook County sheriff’s office said they were questioning whether the hospital violated the Abuse and Neglected Children Reporting Act by failing to notify child protection authorities about the situation, but ultimately let state officials “take the lead” with an investigation, office spokeswoman Cara Smith said.